Clinical Education: What’s in it for you as a professional?

“When I told my administrator I was going to take a speech-language pathology student, she asked me “Why would you want to do that?” (School Speech-Language Pathologist, B.C.)

Why indeed would someone take on the extra responsibility and work that is involved in clinical teaching? Here are some ideas from the literature and from the voices of clinical educators:

  • Community physicians who provided clinical placements for medical students were asked to rank the benefits they received from teaching students.They ranked personal satisfaction highest (over educational opportunities, services or gifts, academic appointments and monetary payment) (Kumar, Kallan, & Mathew, 2002)
  • Many professional associations recognize clinical teaching as a continuing education activity (e.g., BCASLPA, SAC)
  • Those with Clinical Faculty appointments in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences receive benefits associated with that appointment
  • And from the voices of our clinical educators:

“Well of course I always learn from students. It’s a growth experience. I learn as much from the students as they learn from me.”

“[Having a student ] raises the credibility of the profession. I think it is terribly important for the profession. Doctors and lawyers have students with them all the time”

“It makes me think about why I am doing what I am doing and pushes me to keep current”

“It is an opportunity to give back to the professional community”

“I believe in passing on what I have learned”

“It is an opportunity to see my clients through another pair of eyes”

“Personal satisfaction is what drives a large number of physicians to take on volunteer teaching roles…” Kumar, Kallen, & Mathew, 2002)

What benefits do you gain from clinical teaching? What benefits would you like to have? Let us know


Kumar, A., Kallen, D., Mathew, T. (2002). Volunteer faculty: What rewards or incentives do they prefer? Teaching & earning in Medicine, Spring, Vol. 14, 2, p. 119-123